Capital Project Wish List
In mid-August, the Finance Committee and other interested members met to discuss the maintenance and improvement needs for the church campus. The basis for this discussion was an initial list of improvements suggested by the Trustees together with their estimated costs. Everyone in attendance were encouraged to advocate for items on the initial list or to brainstorm other projects that they would like to see completed.
After about 90 minutes of lengthy discussion, everyone was asked to rank projects on the final list, by order of importance. Below is a prioritized list of maintenance and enhancement items and their preliminary costs. Note that some of the proposed items on the list may already be funded by individual donations. However, the church will need to raise something like $250-$325K to complete a significant subset of the items on the list.
1. Youth Building upgrade. The Youth Building needs renovation inside and out, and its roof needs to be replaced. The building was vandalized a few years ago, and recently lost its outside sign. We need to create a welcoming and safe environment to attract young people and their families. There is some money available for renovation inside the building, but the roof replacement is estimated at $7,000.
2. New air conditioners throughout the campus. Our air conditioning systems were installed in the 1960’s and 1970’s. While we continue to keep them in repair, replacement parts are getting harder to secure. Keeping these systems up is a constant battle. Replacing these systems would also significantly decrease our utility bills. Replacement of all A/C systems is at an estimated cost of $100,000.
3. Playground equipment and fencing. Our goal is to make our campus attractive to children and their families, as many working families are moving into new subdivisions that are springing up along the I-75/U.S. Highway 301 corridor. We want to create a nice playground setting and to provide fencing to protect children from the busy streets around our property. Estimated cost for the equipment, the fencing and the protective surfacing is $20,000.
4. New signage and tree removal. We are seeking to replace multiple existing and confusing signs with a single programmable digital sign that can be seen up and down our main roadway, U.S. Highway 301. We would program the sign to provide the program announcements that appear on all our ad hoc signage. An estimate of $53,500 would include the removal of a few roadside trees to improve sign visibility.
5. Additional tree removals for safety. Our property includes many large oak trees that have grown to overhang our buildings. We are looking to remove some of the larger trees, and to trim others back to avoid wind damage from future storms. An estimated cost of $7,500 would cover all the safety tree removals and trimming.
6. Unisex bathroom in sanctuary. As our congregation ages, many are finding it difficult to find a bathroom nearby during worship services. One solution to this problem is to convert our acolyte room in the narthex into a unisex bathroom. The trustees got an estimate of $40,000 for this conversion in 2016. (However, one concern is that the county will not allow us to add another without converting to county sewer throughout the campus.)
7. Other sanctuary upgrades. Our sanctuary roof will need to be replaced sometime within the next five years, according to best estimates, at a cost of about $40,000. Although we have time to complete this upgrade, the thought is to include in the current capital campaign. Another “nice to have” upgrade is to replace the carpet throughout—estimated cost $24,000.
8. Fellowship hall upgrade. It is probably time to refresh the felt covering of the flat roof on our fellowship hall. This cost of new felt is about $2,000 and this project would rely on volunteer labor.
9. Connection between sanctuary and fellowship hall. The suggestion is to build a covered walkway or a building extension that would connect the sanctuary and Crichton Hall. This would give seniors (and those with mobility issues) an adequate access to restrooms in the hall, provide protection from inclement weather, provide an additional gathering place. A wishlist idea would be to reverse the seating in the sanctuary so that the connection would be provide a rear exit during services. Although a price for the building extension is not available, the covered walkway has been estimated to cost around $45,000.
10. A new building for RESTORE. The idea would be to move RESTORE out of the classrooms and to give that activity its own 4,000 square foot building that would combine its food pantry and thrift shop operations. Approximate cost would be $70,000.
11. New main entrance and parking lot. The county highway department has met with earlier in the year. They plan to widen Riverview Drive sometime within the next few years, and as part of that expansion (on the north side of the road), they plan to extend the island that is currently on the road. The result of this change is that Riverview Drive will no longer provide access to the church for westbound traffic. Our solution to this access problem is to make our entrance on U.S. Highway 301 our primary campus entry point and to set up a grass parking lot off that entrance. An early estimate for this work is $5,000.
12. Other non-funded upgrades. We still plan on repainting all of the building on campus. Generous donors have already provided over $600 for paint and supplies, and a final color is being selected. The trustees will soon be recruiting volunteers for this project. Generous individuals have also agreed to underwrite repairs to our gazebo and to our sanctuary side door. Look for these changes in the months ahead.